ARMENIAN STYLE GEORGIAN EGGPLANTS

Original name: Armenian-style georgian eggplants

Origin: Armenia

Ingredients
3 medium size eggplants preferably long ones
Neutral tasting oil for frying (e.g. canola, sunflower or grapeseed)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1-2 cloves garlic
½ tsp. Ground coriander
½ tsp. Khmeli-suneli spices
¼ tsp ground red pepper flakes
3 tsp Greek yogurt
2 tsp mayonnaise
Fresh cilantro, thin-sliced onion, and/or pomegranate seeds to garnish
salt

Preparation
1. Grind the walnuts, garlic, spices and add the yogurt and the mayonnaise until smooth Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Store in the refrigerator if making ahead.
2. Wash and cut the tops off the eggplants. Do not peel. Cut lengthwise into ½ in.-thick slices.
3. Optional but recommended: Salt the eggplant slices generously and let stand for 1 hour, then press out the dark juice, rinse, and pat dry thoroughly with a kitchen towel or paper towels. This is one common technique for minimizing bitterness in eggplant. Using very fresh eggplants will also cut the risk of bitter flavor.
4. Heat 2-3 Tbsp. of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown eggplant slices on both sides, working in batches so as not to crowd the pan and adding oil as necessary. Wait until both sides have turned golden brown, then remove eggplant slices to a plate lined with paper towels. (They should be floppy, not crisp.) Continue until all slices are fried and set aside to cool.
5. Spread a layer of filling on one side of each eggplant slice and roll up to enclose the filling inside. Arrange the rolls on a platter and sprinkle with fresh herbs, thin-sliced onion, or pomegranate seeds (if desired) to serve. You could also serve the rolls on top of crackers or crostini to make them easier to eat neatly as finger food.